This Is How You Master Off-Grid Solar Cooking

How To Master Off-Grid Solar Cooking

NAVIGATION

Learning to cook without electricity is a must when living off the grid in a tiny home, living on a homestead, or camping out for the weekend. Whether off the grid or on, the ability to cook delicious meals is something everyone needs. I found off-grid cooking to be a cinch once I learned the ropes!

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I love the feeling I get from being off grid. Knowing I am far away from anything and everything means I can truly recharge. I started getting into solar cooking when I decided I wanted my off-grid excursions to last even longer.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Methods For Cooking Off The Grid

Methods For Cooking Off The Grid

When I decided to live off the grid, I knew I needed a plan for cooking. Cooking everything from basic culinary staples to sumptuous, high-quality meals is possible off the grid thanks to several different nonelectric cooking methods.

Solar Oven For Off-Grid Cooking

Solar Oven For Off-Grid Cooking

Harnessing solar power is one of the most common ways off gridders tend to get their power. I am a huge fan of using solar myself, and have set up solar in my own tiny house as well as invested in several off-grid solar products.

As far as solar cooking goes, I genuinely haven’t found better products for an off-grid weekend away than cookers from GoSun. I’ve been through the ringer when it comes to trying different solar oven brands, but ended up giving away all of them except my GoSun oven.

gosun solar ovenI bought my own GoSun Fusion a few years ago and have loved using it while living off grid in my tiny home. It is ideal for four to six people and is even able to cook meals on solar when its dark by holding power in its light tubes.

Most of the other solar cookers that I cycled through took me the entire day to cook a full meal, while the GoSun Fusion only takes about 20 minutes to cook for a smaller meal on a sunny day, and 90 minutes for larger meals in the nighttime or on a cloudy day. This oven has made my off-grid experience way easier!

I also really enjoy using the GoSun Go, which is the portable version of my beloved solar oven. This oven is awesome when I’m hiking, backpacking, or just want a quick pick-me-up meal but don’t have access to electricity.

It’s incredibly fast, heating up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 20 minutes, which is perfect when you want to enjoy a delicious meal on the go. The GoSun Go also comes with a boiling accessory to heat up water in a pinch.

gosun

“This type of solar oven can cook through clouds, in the freezing snow and cold, and even at night without any sun at all.”

I have a friend who is really into boondocking and recently bought the GoSun Go Pro Pack for their off-grid endeavors. They have been really happy with what it has done for their off-grid cooking life.

The Sport Pro comes with the GoSun Sport Pro portable oven as well as a kettle, baking cups, extra cooking pan, boiling accessory and a carrying case to take with you anywhere on your homestead.

GoSun Fusion

gosun fusion solar oven

GoSun Go

Gosun go solar oven

GoSun Sport Pro Pack

gosun sport pro solar oven

Using A Dutch Oven To Cook Off The Grid

Using A Dutch Oven To Cook Off The Grid

Before solar cooking changed my life, I was using a Dutch oven to cook most of my meals. Setting a Dutch oven over a campfire is the most simplistic way to cook a good meal off the grid.

I still bring my Dutch oven camping every now and then, even though I don’t use it day to day. All I need to get it going is some hot charcoal, wood embers, and an open flame. Then, I just rest my Dutch oven over the campfire, and the magic ensues. Lodge and Camp Chef are a couple of quality brands, but there are many other good options out there as well.

cooking off grid with a dutch oven

Cooking With Propane Off The Grid

Cooking With Propane Off The Grid

Using propane is another surefire method for cooking off the grid. Many people invest in a portable propane-powered stove, furnace, or oven to use when camping off the grid, roughing it in their RV or cooking a large family dinner on their homestead.

gosun

“Propane, charcoal, butane and other fossil fuels are expensive, and often hard to refill, and put out annoying emissions and sometimes pass on unpleasant flavors to food.”

A propane stove or oven with a battery ignites the burner or oven flame on its own, without needing to be tapped into electricity. Downsides of using propane are that generators tend to make a lot of noise, need more cleaning and maintenance, and aren’t as good for Mother Nature.

tiny house propane

Using A Wood-Burning Stove When Off-Grid Cooking

Using A Wood-Burning Stove When Off-Grid Cooking

A wood-burning stove is another popular off-grid cooking route. I have many pals who enjoy cooking their meals in a wood-burning stove from the comfort of their canvas tents when enjoying a weekend getaway. However, it is important to make sure that the flame isn’t too close to the side of the tent or other flammable items to avoid sparking a dangerous fire or incinerating the camp site.

wood stoves for a tiny houseWood-burning stoves use branches, twigs, small wood scraps, or just about any small combustible material to heat up. There are various types of wood-burning stoves that are perfect for camping, including a rocket stove.

Rocket stoves are small, low-mass stoves that are strategically designed to burn wood more quickly and efficiently than a basic wood stove. The tubular design of a rocket stove makes it possible to cook atop a short, insulated chimney. The metal skirt that outlines the pot holds in the heat easier than a traditional wood stove does.

One of the benefits of using a wood-burning stove is that, because it burns a renewable resource, it lightens the impact on the planet, much like my go-to solar cooking method. However, I know several frequent off gridders who don’t love the wood-burning method because rain prevents you from cooking. Wet kindling can be a huge hassle if it’s pouring rain.

ways to make the most out of a wood stove

Invest In A Quality Solar Water Heater

Invest In A Quality Solar Water Heater

Hot water is a vital part of off-grid cooking. Even when off grid, I definitely still need access to hot coffee, tea, pasta, and more. The GoSun Brew is one of the simplest and most effective travel water heaters that I’ve found, and I have searched long and hard. It is compact into one lightweight, travel-sized mug.

I especially love this portable water heater because it also works as a French Press. As a guy who can’t get through the day without a good cup of coffee, I honestly really enjoy the fresh taste I’ve gotten from the brew. It’s been nice to have access to hot water even if I’m 10 miles into a hike.

When it comes to getting hot water to your homestead or campsite, you’ll likely need to invest in a high-quality solar generator to have access to all of the hot water you’ll need for cooking.

As far as solar generators go, I highly recommend the GoSun Power 550 solar generator to get heat to a campsite. The GoSun Power 550 is able to power multiple devices at once, ensuring you have access to the power you need to cook and heat water off the grid.
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Must-Have Cooking Equipment For Off-Grid Cooking

Must-Have Cooking Equipment For Off-Grid Cooking

The right cookware can make or break an off-grid cooking experience. Here is some of the cooking equipment that I always make sure to bring along when I don’t have access to electricity on my homestead or campsite.

Recommended Equipment For Cooking Off The Grid

  • Manual Can Opener
  • French Press (like GoSun Brew)
  • Manual Egg Beater
  • Wheat Grinder
  • Meat Grinder
  • Sifter
  • Kitchen Timer
  • Juice Press
  • Mortar And Pestle
  • Apple Peeler
  • Veggie Slicer
  • Knife Set
  • Whirley Pop
Equipment For Cooking Off Grid

Savvy Tips When Cooking Meals Off The Grid

Savvy Tips When Cooking Meals Off The Grid

When it comes to cooking meals off the grid, there are a myriad of different options to try. However, there are a few basic off-grid cooking tips to keep in mind.

Use A Thermometer To Keep Track Of Food Temperature

One of the most common concerns I hear from my friends who are nervous about trying off-grid cooking is the fear that their food won’t get hot enough or be safe to eat. That really isn’t a concern with most off-grid cooking methods, especially with devices like the GoSun Oven that heats up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, if the thought of cooking without electricity is unnerving, a kitchen thermometer can keep track of cooking temperatures for an extra layer of assurance. The GoSun Thermo is a truly remarkable option for this.

The temperature gauge comes with an LCD screen and a probe cord that can be used for many types of food. My favorite thing about the GoSun Thermo is that it alerts my phone when food reaches a pre-selected temperature.

Look Into Off-Grid Cooking Recipes

Looking into easy off-grid cooking recipes is a wise way to prepare for being off grid for a long period of time. Depending on what cooking method I decide to use on a given camping trip or day on the homestead, I need access to different supplies and ingredients. Some recipes may be much easier to create than others, so I like to prepare the ingredients I need in advance.

Wrap Food In Aluminum Foil To Keep Leftovers Warm

Keeping leftovers warm after cooking off grid can be a challenge. I’ve found that the best way to keep leftovers heated is simply to wrap them in aluminum foil after cooking. Since aluminum is a conductor of heat, it’ll keep a meal insulated.

More ways to keep food warm without electricity include using chafing dishes, heater and cooler bags, an insulated thermos, or a thermal cooker. When I only want to use one device for keeping food warm, I sometimes preheat my cooler, then load it with food wrapped in aluminum foil or dish towels. Cooler insulation stops heat transfer and keeps it from escaping, but I still like to wrap the food in foil for extra warmth.

wrap food in aluminum foil

A Solar Fridge Can Keep Food Cold Off The Grid

Keeping food cold when living off grid is just as important as being able to keep food warm, if not more important. The last thing you want when living or camping off grid is to waste limited supplies because your food spoiled without refrigeration.

In my opinion, solar fridges are one of the best ways to keep food cold off of the grid. I use the GoSun Chillest Cooler which cools food and drinks using electricity from 12V, AC or solar. The cooler is pretty ideal for keeping food cold off the grid.

It can run entirely on solar power and has controlled temps that range from -4°F to 68°F (-20°C to 20°C). Other methods for keeping food cold without power include an evaporation cooler, an ice box, or a heating and cooling zip bag.

Try Dehydrating Food When Off-Grid Cooking

When I know I won’t have access to heat, electricity, or gas for a while, dehydrating my food in advance is a great way to prep high-quality meals. When food is dehydrated, I can enjoy it for weeks and even months after initially cooking it.

The dehydrating process just means that food is heated at a low temperature with plenty of air circulation. I have friends who use a professional dehydrator to do this, but I dry my food in an oven.

guide to dehydrating food

Plan Each Step Of Your Off-Grid Cooking Process

I’m a huge list maker because I fully believe it makes life easier. I’ve definitely found this to be true when it comes to planning my off-grid meals on my homestead or when camping for the weekend.

plan your off grid cooking processOff-grid cooking comes with a different mindset than cooking with electricity, so I really have to think through each step of the cooking process to determine where the holes are. When I make plans to cook meals off the grid, I like to write down each step in my process because it helps me anticipate the steps I’ll need to get creative for.

There are many different ways to try off-grid cooking, and it’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Solar has been my favorite off-grid cooking method, but find the method you like best!

Your Turn!

  • What method will you use when cooking off the grid?
  • What kinds of meals do you hope to make while camping?

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